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Watering Tips to Keep your Lawn Green!

June 17, 2022

Check out these watering tips and video to keep your lawn looking beautiful all summer long!


Normal Irrigation Setup

We at Green Side Up Landscaping frequently get asked to set up our client’s irrigation systems OR to give them recommendations for how they should set it up. This document was put together so that the best lawn watering guidelines are laid out in one spot. 

When/Where/Why/How much?

GOAL: Deep and infrequent waterings

WHEN: The best way to water is to program your irrigation system to have finished all its watering for the day by 9 am. Irrigation should only be used when seasonal conditions(heat stress or drought) dictate. Watering too much too often sets your turf plants up for failure when stressful conditions arise in the heat of the summer.  We would not suggest even thinking about using your system outside of May-October.

Where: Please be aware that every part of your yard does not have the same watering requirements. Shaded areas may need less water and full sun areas may show signs of stress sooner. Adjust your zones as much as possible to accommodate these differences. 

How Much: The goal is to moisten the soil to a depth of 4-5”. Most fescue lawns require 1” to 1.5” of water per week either from irrigation or rain. 

How Often: Twice a week MAX!

WHY: If you constantly(3-7 days a week) water your lawn to a depth of 1”-2” then the plant sees no reason to grow long healthy roots that can find water. Deep infrequent watering encourages the roots to go deep and utilize water throughout the entire soil profile. These long roots will be key for making it through our hot humid summers.

Program Controller: 

This is a general starting point for setting up your irrigation systems controller. Zones can then be adjusted for location-specific watering needs(See “Where” text above).

  • Number of watering days: 2 Max(See guidelines below)
  • When to water: 
      • Do not water at least two days prior to mowing. 
      • Water the morning AFTER the lawn has been cut.
      • Early morning: Set up so all irrigation is done by 9am if possible.
  • Zone times: 
      • Turf Rotor Head Zones: 30 minutes 
      • Turf Spray Head Zones:10 minutes
  • Pay attention: Your turf will have different watering requirements based on the seasons/soil types/location in yard and amount of natural rain. Keep a watchful eye and adjust accordingly. 

Post-Aeration & Overseeding Irrigation Set Up

Goal: Keep the seed moist through the establishment of new grass plants. 

Day 1-9 after Aeration and Overseeding:

  • The number of waterings per day: 3 times a day(During the daytime) We suggest 8am, Noon and 3pm.
  • Zones times: 5 minutes per zone

Day 10: Resume normal twice-a-week watering detailed above.

New Sod Irrigation Set Up 

Goal: Keep new sod sloppy wet until fully tacked down.

Install day- Day 7:

  • Number of waterings per day: 3 times during the day (8am, Noon, 4pm)
  • Zone times: 
    • Turf Rotor Head Zones: 20 minutes 
    • Turf Spray Head Zones:10 minutes

Day 8- Day 14

  • Water every other day in early morning(Midnight-8am)
  • Zone times: 30 minutes per zone

Day 15 : Resume normal watering schedule listed above.

Key Notes: These are general guidelines for the growing season. If sod is installed while dormant(no need to water) or spring/fall the watering requirements will be different. Feel free to reach out if you would like more specific guidelines for your situation. 

Startup and Winterization of Irrigation System

Goal: Protection of your system during the winter months.

Spring Startup of the irrigation system:

  • Once the main water supply has been turned on, the system should be run through completely to ensure all zones and heads are functioning properly for the upcoming season
  • Start-up of system should take place April- end of May.


Irrigation Winterization:

  • Water should be blown out of the system prior to deep freezing temperatures. This is normally done in the month of November. The main threat to damage is the cracking of the backflow($300-$700) as if cracked it will need to be replaced before the system is functional. 


Do you have a question or need help getting the lawn of your dreams? Our team of lawn care professionals are here for you.

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